Sunday, 10 August 2014

10th of August: Ringing recoveries

This summer on Blakeney Point, the BTO colour-ringed 109 Sandwich Tern chicks. The purpose of ringing these chicks is to learn more about their migration routes. We are delighted to have had some recoveries already...

On the 25th of July, three were seen at Gibraltar Point in Lincolnshire - 46km WNW.

On the 31st of July, two were seen at the Ythan Estuary in northeast Scotland - 519km N.

Sandwich Terns over-winter in West Africa, therefore it is fascinating to learn that these birds have moved north before heading south. The reasons for this are unknown. A couple of ideas we have come up with are:
- they are following food source
- they are looking for potential alternative breeding sites for the future

The heron family comes in many shapes, sizes and colours. Little Egrets are present in the saltmarsh creeks most days. Its bigger relative, the Great White Egret, is an infrequent occurrence at Blakeney, but one did grace the nearby Cley Marshes on the 4th of August and flew west over the Point. Grey Herons, like Little Egrets, are seen fairly frequently. Their purple relatives are much more sporadic. One of these was reported flying west over the Point on the 1st of August. Spoonbills have also been sighted regularly of late, the most recent being two on the 7th.

Our latest low tide seal count recorded 879 Grey and 55 Common hauled out on the West Sands on the 1st of August. We ask walkers on the West Sands to respect their space.

Although our Sandwich Tern chicks have already reached faraway destinations, two Little Tern chicks have only just fledged and are still vulnerable on the beach. There is also a week-old Ringed Plover on the beach. Therefore, the dog restrictions are still in force until these birds are no longer so vulnerable.

 The last two Little Tern chicks, prior to fledging
(photographed under license)

The long spell of sunny weather was brought to an abrupt halt early yesterday morning when 111mm of rain fell in just an hour-and-a-half. Next week's forecast looks to be wet and windy, however it is still worth getting out in the wild to watch the nature around you. You may find you have a whole nature reserve to yourself.

Ajay, Paul and Sarah
Blakeney Point Rangers

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